Archive of March 2022

Welcoming Wildlife


The arrival of spring also marks the appearance of many creatures, great (well, modestly sized), and small to the garden. If you're wild about wildlife, here's some ways to encourage animals into your outside space.

And, if critters are causing chaos in your garden, we've got some tips to help there, too.

Welcome water

The addition of a pond to your garden can provide a much needed breeding area for frogs, newts and dragonflies, and also creates an area for birds to drink from all year round. When selecting the site for your pond or water feature, choose a place that's not directly under trees where there's the likelihood of falling leaves - that way you won't be constantly fishing them out and cleaning up debris.

Short on space? Even a bird bath or a plant pot filled with water can help birds and other wildlife.

Lawn living

Something so simple as grass in the garden can be incredibly beneficial to lots of wildlife, all year round.

Short grass helps birds search for food easily - sometimes even the early bird needs a little help catching the worm!

Some people like a neat and tidy lawn at all times, but allowing some long grass helps to feed a number of other creatures, such as butterflies. Or, go one step further and grow flowering plants in your grass, which will also encourage various wildlife. If having meadow flowers in your lawn ruins your aesthetic, choose a section of the garden to create an area where you can grow wildflowers.

Boundary benefits

More than a simple border to divide your garden from the neighbour's, hedges offer shelter to many animals all year round, as well as giving birds a place to nest. A hedge is also one way to offer animals in the garden protection from the elements, whether that's a hot summer day or torrential rain.

Flower power

Filling your borders with bright blooms not only makes for a colourful garden, it also helps to provide for wildlife, too. Grow flowers for bees, butterflies and other visitors - choose a range of annuals and perennials, and incorporate flowers with pollen and nectar to give the bees a helping hand. Sunflowers are a particular favourite for worker bees, and once they’ve flowered, the seeds also make a great source of nutrition for birds and insects.

Small but mighty

A small outside space doesn’t have to mean you can’t encourage wildlife to it, you just have to get a little creative. Even pots and containers on the patio can have benefits for wildlife - small insects can shelter underneath, while pollinators can enjoy what’s planted inside. Hanging nuts and seeds can help birds especially in winter, and these feeders take up relatively little space. Or, a hanging basket not only looks lovely, but can also provide nutrition to wildlife, plus a place to shelter or even nest.

Wonderful waste

Compost is not only great for the garden, but it also helps out a huge number of creatures in the garden. The compost itself encourages wildlife such as worms and mites, who are all a part of the composting process, so will help that matter to convert from your old potato peelings and grass cuttings to compost. But, having these insects and invertebrates inhabiting your compost is also great for the birds, who can feast on what they find.

Keeping wildlife out

Sometimes, you might not want to encourage certain wildlife into the garden. Perhaps you’ve got some prize carrots growing that you’d rather not share, or a cat who brings you back ‘treats’ they find in the night.

● Installing a fence to create a barrier is one way of keeping critters at bay, especially stopping rabbits from munching through your crops. To prevent them from burrowing under and feasting on your produce, dig it in about 250mm deep. ● Elevating your plants and crops is another way to keep some animals at bay - raised beds can limit the damage they’ll do, as will window boxes which are out of harm’s way for hungry bunnies.

● To stop birds stealing your fruit crops, place netting over your berry bushes just before the fruit ripens.

● If you like a tidy garden, then perhaps consider a wild area - this will encourage wildlife to forage here for food first, rather than heading to the places you’ve carefully planted your crops. And, it’ll give somewhere for mice to hide, so that your pets don’t find them as easily and bring them back for you as a gift.

● Finally, while compost is a great way to encourage wildlife into the garden, it can attract some unwanted pests. To avoid this, keep your compost tidy in a compost bin.

Your garden in March


For many gardeners, March is their favourite month. As signs of spring start to creep in, there's the opportunity to get back out into the garden, with the lighter evenings and warmer temperatures affording us a little more time in the great outdoors.

That said, gardening in March is very much led by the weather, which at this time of year can be unpredictable at best. So, while there's plenty to be done in the garden, choose smaller tasks to begin with, which take less time - that way if snow and storms do interfere (not unheard of in March!) you'll still be able to make some progress in the garden.

Container Care

There are many benefits to growing plants in containers. Not only do they help to brighten up dull corners and empty spots in the garden, they're also relatively easy to care for, once you've got everything in place.

Now is the ideal time to plant up containers, as it gives time for the roots to become established. The essential things plants in containers need are plenty of water, and a good quality compost to ensure the plant gets the ideal balance of air and water. Top dressing your containers with a compost that provides good drainage and keeps the roots from being too saturated is ideal.

Bin Benefits

Creating your own compost is easy to do, and there’s no better time to start than at the beginning of spring, so that you have the whole season ahead of you to collect that precious waste and start reaping the benefits. To get started, you need the right balance of nitrogen rich materials such as grass clippings and tree foliage, and carbon materials like wood cuttings and cardboard. Then, you’ll need somewhere to store it, so consider making your own compost bin to keep your matter tidy.

Lawn and order

It might be a while since you showed your lawn any love, but as spring arrives, it’s time to turn your attention to your turf. The beginning of spring is the ideal time to give your lawn a boost - put in the work now and it’ll thank you later.

One way you can boost your lawn is by aerating it, which helps to avoid waterlogging. Use a garden fork to spike the ground, and aim to leave around 15cm gaps between the incisions. It’s also worth using a good fertiliser on your grass - this will provide your lawn with the nutrients it needs throughout the season.

Summer shades

If we're afforded a mild March, then you can make a start on planting out some summer bulbs. Lilies and Dahlias are both good options and will bring plenty of colour to your garden come summertime.

Dahlias are not frost hardy, so you'll want to plant these about 6 weeks before the last frost - they take about this long to make an appearance, by which time hopefully weather conditions will be milder and the dahlias can thrive.

Lilies can be planted out in pots and will grow well in sheltered areas, or you could place them in the greenhouse until they're established.

Border control

No, it's not the most exciting of tasks, but the sooner you start weeding your borders, the less you'll have to do later down the line. Set aside five or ten minutes a week and get out in the garden to do a quick weed removal session. How you get rid of them is up to you - some people prefer to use a hoe or trowel, others prefer to pull them out by hand. Once you've tackled the worst of the weeds, mulch your borders with compost to keep them at bay.